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Roosevelt University Sustainable Community

For five years, Roosevelt has undergone a green metamorphosis across campuses and departments. Two LEED-certified buildings have been constructed, the Sustainability Studies program graduated its first class, much of Schaumburg’s campus has been converted to sustainable prairie, food and packaging are recycled and serve to improve the  campus gardens, and food that’s grown on campus is served here.

Today, sustainability is woven into the fabric of Roosevelt University, flourishing through contributions across schools and disciplines. Staff, faculty, students and volunteers work together to bring the University’s sustainable vision and mission to life.

Roosevelt University Sustainability Professionals


Paul Matthews

Paul J. Matthews
Assistant Vice President, Campus Planning & Operations

Paul J. Matthews is a key driver, leader in Environmental Sustainability at Roosevelt University. Recently serving on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council through 2011, Matthews currently is co-chair of the USGBC-IL Green Schools Higher Education subcommittee.

Since arriving in 2010, Matthews completed three major capital projects: construction of the 32-story USGBC Gold Wabash “vertical” campus, USGBC Silver Goodman Center Field House, and renovation of College of Pharmacy which is featured in the American School & University (AS&U) Interiors Portfolio for outstanding design. Currently under Paul’s direction is a 22-acre sustainable landscape renovation in Schaumburg, including prairie restoration, pervious paving, rain gardens and a community vegetable garden.

Matthews holds a Master’s degree in Public Management from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Ohio State University.  Commissioned as an officer in the USMC, Matthews served for twenty-four years, retiring in 1996 as a Major. 

Professor Mike Bryson

Michael A. Bryson
Director and co-founder Sustainability Studies program
Associate Professor of Humanities and Sustainability Studies

Michael A. Bryson is a visionary director and co-founder in 2010 of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies program, the first of its kind in the Chicago region. He is also a key leader of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Initiative. Bryson is actively engaged in teaching interdisciplinary programs and specializes in designing field study opportunities for his students. An active scholar, writer and mentor, Bryson has published the well-reviewed book, Visions of the Land: Science, Literature, and the American Environment from the Era of Exploration to the Age of Ecology (University of Virginia Press, 2002).

Dr. Bryson received his BA in biology and English (1990) at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL; and his PhD in English (1995) State University of New York at Stony Brook (now Stony Brook University) on Long Island.

Thomas Shelton

Tom Shelton
Sustainability Coordinator

Thomas L. Shelton has been with Roosevelt University for the past 3 years, as the Sustainability Coordinator and has recently completed an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Recycling Grant for the new LEED Gold Rated Roosevelt University Wabash Tower. Managing Environmental Sustainability initiatives, student workers, and interns within the Office of Environmental Sustainability and Physical Resources, Shelton also serves as a member of the Chicagoland Network of Sustainability in Higher Education, as well as the USGBC-IL Green Schools Higher Education Subcommittee; and is an advisor to the Roosevelt University student sustainability organization, RU Green.  

Tom is a graduate of Roosevelt University and is currently pursuing certification in LEED and SERF, and Green Business from The Chicago Center for Green Technology.

Mary Beth Radeck

Mary Beth Radeck
Sustainability Associate

Mary Beth Radeck is the chief Sustainability writer and garden manager for the Office of Environmental Sustainability, a Sustainability Studies major and Project Director for a pharmaceutical advertising agency in Chicago. Working out of Roosevelt’s Schaumburg campus, Radeck recently helped triple the size of the RUrban Pioneers Community garden at Roosevelt’s Schaumburg campus and is working to drive Sustainability initiatives under Paul Matthews’ direction which include a prairie walk and National Wildlife Federation School Yard Habitat certification.

Radeck is not only a Sustainability undergraduate, her background includes a Landscape Design certification from Northwestern University and 30 years as a marketing professional across all media and disciplines. She recently earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and is working to attain a Building Science certification from The Chicago Center for Green Technology.

Troy Withers

Troy Withers
Sustainability Associate
President, RUGreen

This year, not only is Troy Withers a Environmental Sustainability Intern for Roosevelt University, he’s also a graduating senior, majoring in Sustainability Studies, and the President of RU Green.  Outside of RU, Withers serves as the Marketing Specialist and Spokesman for Soul Vegan Foods.  He has authored numerous works, including the web content for and is a lecturer, writer, and activist on issues relating to veganism, the environmental crisis, community wellness and the relationship between diet and inner city violence.

In 2010, Withers represented the cause of veganism and climate change mitigation policy at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, and throughout the world at varying events such as Chicago Veganmania.

Through his grassroots organization, The Gahn Initiative, in partnership with Soul Vegan, Withers organized the Feed The People Program, and served free vegan meals to the underprivileged residents of Chicago and while working with various churches, schools, community and municipal entities to educate the community as to the need for vegan/vegetarian awareness and action in the African American community.

Kenton D. Franklin

Kenton D. Franklin
Energy Operations Intern

Kenton Franklin leads Energy Operations analysis efforts in cooperation with Roosevelt University and The Joyce Foundation. Working under Paul Matthews, Franklin has helped analyze and report utility usage and identified Roosevelt University’s campus sustainability initiatives have been successful and need improvement. Kenton helped plan and manage the Schaumburg community gardens and later analyzed and published a case study of the results.

As one of the first graduates of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies program, Franklin was the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Student Award in Sustainability Studies. Kenton’s goal is to continue to pursue his passion for music, photography, writing and painting while growing within his work as a sustainability professional by pursuing a master’s degree in analytical and environmental economics.